UPDATE 1-AmerisourceBergen's quarterly profit tops estimates

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Nov 2 (Reuters) - AmerisourceBergen Corp reported a slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong sales in its drug distribution business, and forecast revenue to grow as much as 9 percent in 2018.

The company's results come as generic drug prices slump, price hikes for branded drugs slow, and the industry reckons with rumors that Amazon.com might burst into the pharmaceutical supply chain.

"AmerisourceBergen executed well in a challenging healthcare environment," Chief Executive Steven Collis said.

AmerisourceBergen forecast adjusted earnings of $5.90 to $6.15 per share for 2018, with revenue expected to grow between 7 percent and 9 percent.

Net loss was $294.6 million, or $1.35 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $145.7 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company also incurred a charge of $592 million in the quarter, mainly as a result of litigation expenses from a civil investigation it is involved in.

Revenue rose 4.2 percent to $39.12 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.33 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $1.32 per share on revenue of $40.12 billion. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra and Tamara Mathias; Editing by Anil D'Silva)